In this latest edition of our long-running quarterly update series, OHS Alert reviews all the key WHS news from the first three months of 2020, including everything you need to know on the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings on Dreamworld's dismal safety systems, caselaw from all jurisdictions, and legislative changes.
A PCBU and one of its officers have been fined $270,000 over a "litany of failures" resulting in workers suffering serious acid burns, with a judge questioning why companies licensed to handle extremely hazardous chemicals are being left to police themselves.
Australia's WHS regulators will apply a common-sense educative approach to dealing with workplaces struggling to comply with their WHS duties because of COVID-19, providing they make "genuine attempts" to comply with them, a new national policy released by Safe Work Australia says. SWA has also released a raft of new pandemic resources, including a workplace checklist.
A company officer who took few steps to ensure workers could recognise and control safety risks, so they could respond safely to changes to their regular tasks, has been convicted and fined heavily over the crush death of a worker at a client site.
A major employer's safety fine has been nearly quadrupled to $110,000, with an appeals court finding its culpability was increased rather than mitigated by the misconduct of a "rogue" supervisor, who seriously injured a non-employee.
A PCBU and its director have been fined a total of $385,000, and handed training orders, after a worker was killed by an unsecured hose, with a court finding the director failed to ensure his company had the necessary resources to comply with WHS laws.
The substantive proceedings for a worker's claim that he developed dementia as a result of witnessing a traumatic fatality have been given the go-ahead, with a judge allowing him to appoint a litigation guardian.